The Isle of the Dead / 20’
- MUSSORGSKY (ARR. SHOSTAKOVICH)
Songs and Dances of Death / 25’
- MUSSORGSKY (ORCH. RAVEL)
Pictures at an Exhibition / 35’
Welcome to the glorious world of Russian music – every bit as emotional as its football!
Guiding you through the stormy Russian soul in two orchestral masterpieces and a compelling song cycle dealing with misadventure, war, death and fantasy (not unlike the World Cup, then) are Russian conductor Alexander Vedernikov – ‘exhilarating from beginning to end’ (Financial Times) – and ‘mesmerising’ (Latvian National Opera) Belarussian mezzo-soprano Oksana Volkova.
Inspired by Arnold Böcklin’s mysterious painting of a coffin’s final journey across deathly still waters towards a forbidding shore, Rachmaninov’s The Isle of the Dead is hair-raising, spine-tingling stuff. Moving with unsettling dream-like fluidity, it gives gripping voice to powerful, primal emotions in music of unforgettable passion.
Brace yourself for the colourful, contagious world of Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition – a dark kaleidoscope of images drawn from Victor Hartmann’s paintings populated by gnomes, quarrelling children, a strutting hut on hen’s legs (no, really) and unhatched chickens in a bizarre ballet. Admit it: you’re curious. In Maurice Ravel’s ravishing orchestration, it’s a wonderful collision of the art gallery, the cinema blockbuster and a symphony orchestra, all hallucinating together.
Mussorgsky’s Songs and Dances of Death are as beautiful, bleak and hypnotic as their gleefully grim title suggests.
“EXHILARATING…CONTROLLED ECSTASY…EXQUISITELY BLENDED COLOURS.”
National Concert Hall
National Concert Hall, Earlsfort Terrace, IrelandOpen Larger Map